Art and creativity help inspire Learning Disability Week in Sussex

11 June 2021

People from across Sussex have been showcasing their art jodie_ide_occupational_therapist_at_sussex_partnership_nhs_foundation_trust_with_the_hand_art.jpgand creativity skills in the run to Learning Disability Week 2021.

It’s after Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which provides specialist mental health and learning disability services across the south east, put out a call to the community to decorate a hand depicting their thoughts and feelings during lockdown and the things they are looking forward to as the world begins to open up again.

Lots of people with a learning disability took part and the Trust had over 120 pieces of ‘hand art’ submitted. The concept behind this initiative is ‘even though we are apart, we are still together.’

Viki Baker, Clinical Director for Learning Disability and Neurodevelopmental Services at Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are so pleased to be celebrating Learning Disability Week. This year the theme is arts and creativity as for many people with a learning disability and their families, this has been a way to stay connected and positive. We have asked people with a learning disability, living across Sussex, to send us hand art depicting their feelings about lockdown and life opening up again. 

“People with a learning disability are hand_art.jpgmore likely to experience mental health problems, due to many factors like discrimination and social isolation. The pandemic has hit all of us hard, but for people with a learning disability times have been incredibly difficult.”

The submitted artwork, along with the ‘hand art’ designed by the Trust’s own services users, will now be displayed near the allotment of the Selden Centre inpatient building in Worthing, which is an accessible space for everyone.  

Learning Disability Awareness Week is run by Mencap – a UK charity for people with a learning disability.  Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust will be supporting Learning Disabilities Awareness Week along with many others on social media, with the hashtag #LDWeek2021.